Love & Nature
Vanessa & Matt
Vanessa and Matt created a wedding event that was uniquely them−a summer camp celebration for their friends and family.
Story by Melanie Brooks
Photography by She of the Woods
Vanessa Bergmann and Matt Devine, both nature-loving New Englanders, met on the windy high plains of the Cowboy State. Both had ventured west after graduating college and settled in Jackson, Wyoming.
“We were both settling into mountain lifestyle when, fortunately, were both sent to Casper, Wyoming one early fall weekend to participate in the Wyoming Hunting and Fishing Heritage Expo for kids,” Vanessa says. She was working for the Teton Science Schools and Matt was working for Wyoming Game & Fish.
That evening during dinner, Matt and Vanessa introduced themselves. “We shared laughs, inspiring conversation, and gin and tonics,” Vanessa says. By the end of the evening, they had fallen for each other.
After four years of living out west, the couple decided to move back east to be closer to their families in Massachusetts and Connecticut. “We realized that it was more than a place that made our relationship,” Vanessa says.
Matt decided to propose during a weekend trip to the Green Mountains of Vermont. It was autumn and the foliage was at its peak. The couple hiked an 11-mile ridgeline trail with views of Lake Champlain to the west and the White Mountains to the east. During the descent, the couple stopped at the last “lookout” spot—a steep rock buttress with tremendous views.
“Matt dropped to his knee, pulled out a beautiful ring, and popped the question,” Vanessa says. She emotionally fell to her knees, too. They celebrated with glasses of champagne and called their families to share the good news.
The couple started looking for a venue for their celebration. They wanted a place where friends and family could come, spend the weekend, and feel like they were at summer camp. Vanessa’s parents had recently moved to central Maine, so they started searching there. They found their perfect spot at Medomak Family Camps in Washington, not far from Vanessa’s parent’s new home.
A casual wedding was planned that focused on swimming, camp fires, and lawn games. Guests enjoyed two fun-filled days of activities, including a belly flop contest off the floating dock and a Maine lobster bake.
The peaceful ceremony was held on the lawn under and oak tree. Vanessa’s talented brother, Paul Bergmann, gracefully sang as she walked down the aisle with her father. The couple’s dog, May, served as the ring bearer. “The stories that were shared and the poems that were read during the ceremony reflected our love and respect for nature and the world around us,” Vanessa says.
After the ceremony, Vanessa and Matt spent some time with their photographer for some quiet moments down by the lake and a quick canoe ride. They rejoined their guests in the camp’s barn for their reception.
“We cracked lobster in our wedding clothes, our fathers made us cry with their speeches, and we danced so hard the record skipped,” Vanessa says. “Whenever we think back to our wedding, we think it was perfect. It was the most perfect Maine August summer day and night.”
In Vanessa’s Words
I’m so glad…that we took the time to make the ceremony really meaningful to us.
One of my favorite moments was…trying to hold it all back while Vanessa was being walked down the aisle by her father. Oh, and the belly flop contest. (Matt)
I didn’t realize…that the ceremony would be one of our favorite parts of the whole weekend. And that we have tremendous love and support from family and friends.
I wish…we could have a reunion every year.
Our advice to other couples is…to take time to step out of the wedding and look at it from afar with your partner, realizing all the people that you love are together in one space.
Bartender: Downeast Bartending, Blue Hill